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A Minute with Mazz -- Merry Christmas

12/24/2013 11:00 AM -

Christmas is always a special time for me and our family. When I think about it, it comes down to that: family getting together. Our daughter is home for the holidays. I have two brothers, one in Atlanta and one here in Canton. My parents live in Florida. This year we won’t all be together, but our family will go over to my brother’s house on Christmas Eve. Then, there are five brothers and sisters on my wife’s side of the family, and they’re coming to our house for dinner on Christmas. I’ll be like Clark Griswold from “Christmas Vacation.”

Speaking of Christmas movies, my favorites tend to be the classics. Right now it’s between “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “White Christmas.” Everyone in this area, though, loves “A Christmas Story” because the house from the movie is nearby in Cleveland. In fact, an investor bought it several years ago and turned it into a museum. The whole neighborhood really gets into it. This time of year that area is packed, but it’s a lot of fun.

Although I didn’t get a Red Rider BB gun like Ralphie, I got some memorable gifts from Santa as a kid. Funny, but the one I remember the most was a 10-speed bike that I got on Christmas in 1976. It was “under” the tree on Christmas morning. That probably stands out because, as a 10-year-old, that was my first “big,” or “grown-up,” gift.

As much as I loved Christmas morning growing up, I think it was more fun for me being a dad with a young child and “helping” Santa. I loved doing that. With only one child, we could really get into it. One that really stands out was when she was about 6 years old. She was into Harry Potter. She’s an extremely sound sleeper, so my wife and I went into her room in the middle of the night and gave her a Harry Potter Christmas. We completely changed her bed with Harry Potter sheets, put up a Christmas tree with Harry Potter ornaments, and my wife put a Harry Potter nightgown on her. She had no idea. That’s one we still talk and laugh about today.

I’ll admit that I have a new favorite part of Christmas morning. Since my daughter doesn’t wake up at the crack of dawn anymore, we can enjoy going to Christmas Day Mass. When she was growing up, we’d go to the incredibly crowded 4:00 Mass on Christmas Eve. We’d have to leave a little after 2 to get a seat. Now we can walk in at 10:59 on Christmas morning and not have a problem finding a seat. That’s great!

If I were to have a Christmas wish, it’d be to find a pitcher for our staff who sucks up a lot of innings, wins 15 games, and is out there for game five of the American Association championship next September at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

Whatever Christmas wish you have this year, I hope that you have a very merry Christmas and are blessed to be able to spend it with family and friends.